Worse Side of the Russian North

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A trip to the end of the world that is called Chukotka. It’s really hard to live there and it seems that the climate prevents people from building roads and houses and existing normally. The underpopulated region as it was, started to be abandoned in the 1990s-2000s, they were leaving home towns and settlements… We are going to visit some of them today.

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Vegetation of the region is represented by grass only, but it’s nice to observe numerous lakes and hills from above. Not so many animals inhabit the land.

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What you are going to see below is really dreadful. It seems all the good of Chukotka has been lost.

The second autonomous region has long been closed and militarised, it is still a border zone. They check the passports of all people coming and going. In the Soviet years the fear of Americans was so great that they turned the impassable region without roads into a special territory. It is only 600-700 km away from Alaska but it’s hard to reach, either on foot or by transport. Military posts were almost everywhere, so all abandoned objects still belong to the Ministry of Defence.

In the picture above is a warehouse of combustible materials.

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Anadyr city is on one side, Ugolnuye Kopi settlement – on the other one. Dozens of abandoned towns are all around.

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Shakhterskiy settlement could be reached by car.

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This settlement is not big and has only several houses which have decayed and been plundered.

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If you wish to build something here use construction materials of abandoned buildings…

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Probably this place has never been beautiful, today it looks pitiful.

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The main reason why people left was the housing program of Anadyr where flats were provided for new dwellers. They simply wanted better living conditions. It’s not clear why they left their belongings, equipment, cars… Seems they escaped… Like in Pripyat!

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Wooden houses, garages…

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Settlement on the shore – sometimes temperature reaches -60C here.

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Abandoned cars are getting rusty and polluting the soil.

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This ship will never sail again.

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The water does not look clean enough for swimming.

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Monument to T. Elkov – the first Chukchi-pilot who died at the time of WWII.

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The radar station is still functioning.

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Anadyr airport, nothing remains of the runway – it’s fully overgrown. And only one wall remains of the airport building.

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Ten years ago the airport was bought by one man who planned to develop regional aviation. He purchased an An-2 and got died soon after. The plane is still here.

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Its condition is quite good.

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Much equipment is preserved in the cabin, but its cover has been stolen.

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Some technical equipment.

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One can find some artifacts in this dreadful scrapyard. Does it look like conceptual art?

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Artifacts of the past collected in one place.

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Anadyr looks like the center of the Universe from here.

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We’re back in Ugolnye Kopi. It’s the biggest city on this side of the river though it is mostly abandoned too.

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The civil part of the city is still inhabited.

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The monument to aviators is not protected today.

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The city looks really gloomy and deterrent.

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The only inhabited building in the area – the local court.

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Inhabited five-storeyed houses. How does it feel to live here? Nobody is going to provide them with houses in another place, build shops or roads for them…

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What remains is to pray…

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Locals.

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Residential part of Ugolnye Kopi. The still inhabited houses are bright.

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One more monument to a Chukchi pilot.

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Does it make sense to come to Chukotka for rest? It’s hard to answer this question. But it’s probably good for everyone to see life like this – so different from what we normally see every day. It has a sobering influence…

via macos

5 thoughts on “Worse Side of the Russian North”

  1. My guess is that the area does not profit the oligarchs and tat is the reason for abandonment. I wonder what the original function of the city was.

    Reply
    • Originally Anadyr city was one of eastern outposts of Russian Empire. Look at the map. Also fishing and merchant seaport.

      Reply
  2. Thank you . Here in America there are what we call
    ghost towns . You have whole cities . Amazing and
    moving …. where did all the people go ..
    Thanks again

    Reply

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